London Design Festival preview – Tent

A run-down of the main events going on at Tent and Superbrands where there is a new focus on interactive projects.

The Dandelion by Clartés
The Dandelion by Clartés

Tent and its sister trade show Super Brands have been overhauled and will offer new format section Techable focusing on interaction design.

The Tent show features new products, furniture and lighting and the Super Brands show – held under the same roof – is a chance for larger brands to showcase new designs and also offers a talks programme.

New interactive programme


Techable is part of Tent and has been inspired by the popularity of the Japanese interactive projects featured at last year’s event according to Tent founder Jimmy MacDonald who says we can expect “a dedicated 200m² space showcasing international interactive projects.”

You can get up close to products such as SAM, which has been designed for people with little or no coding knowledge to help them create Internet of Things-connected products.

Hackaball will also be there. Designed by Map and Made by Many for children aged 6-10 it’s a programmable device linked to an app that allows children to create their own games.

Talks Programme

Ron Arad and Patrizia Moroso
Ron Arad and Patrizia Moroso

The Supertalks programme is also geared toward “interactivity and demonstration” according to Tent but in this case organisers mean talks from designers sharing thoughts on their design processes.

Patrizia Moroso and Ron Arad will be talking about their unconventional 25-year collaboration in a fireside-chat and among many others there are talks from the likes of 100%Norway and Irish Design 2015.

International showcases

Brass Tableware by Kim Soo Young & Cho Ki Sang
Brass Tableware by Kim Soo Young & Cho Ki Sang

Across Tent there will be more focus on country pavilions with showcases from the likes of Korea, Japan, Sweden and Finland.

“Visitors can see precisely what is happening in any given country right now” says MacDonald.

This means a gamut of larger and smaller brands alongside traditional skills and crafts being represented.



Organisers have already identified trends emerging across the exhibitors such as ‘material manipulation’. Among those working in this field are Sisal Studio, which is using recycled fabric to create porcelain vessels and Queenso’s outdoor seating, which is filled with hay.

Independent designers

Emily Skinner, Evan James Design
Emily Skinner, Evan James Design

Independent designers are also given a platform and visitors will be able to navigate work by around 250 of them.

“What we’re interested in showing is good design. We don’t care whether that comes from more established or younger designers, as long as the quality is there,” says MacDonald.

Among them will be Emily Skinner with her interior products and sensory wall coverings brand Evan James Design.

Tent and Super brands take place in the Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL from 14-27 September.

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